Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 20, 1974 · Page 5
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 5

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 20, 1974
Page 5
Start Free Trial

In Search Of The American Dream Northweit Arkansas TIMES, Sun., Oct. SO, 1974 · 5A FAVITTEVILLC, ARKANSAS ' ' The Development Of Religious Freedom In. The New World EDITOR'S NOTE: This Is the fourth ot 18 articles exploring the theme, In Search of the American Dream. This article discusses development of religious freedom and ethnic aspects of the early A m e r i c a n colonies. T h e author is professor of history, U n i v e r s i t y o f California, Berkeley. By WINTHROP I). JORDAN Copyright, 197-1 Regents of the University Of California Distributed by Copley News Service William Penn's experiment in religious toleration in Pennsylvania was novel both in terms of deliberate planning and in terms of scale. The idea of religious freedom had been gradually gaining favor in Europe as men began to tire The article on this page is part of Courses by Newspaper. It is offered as a public service by this newspaper to present college-level courses through the community newspaper. The program has been hailed by the academic world and publishers across the nation as one of the brightest advances in 'newspaper service to readers. of slaughtering each other ii religious warfare. One of th' earliest proponents of the'ide; of religious freedom in Ne\ England was Roger Williams. Banished from Massachuselt b e c a u s e of his crnticism of the authorities, Williams ha established a new colony i R h o d e Island, where re ligious freedom w a s guaran teed. From there, he debate the "Bloody Tenet of Per secution" with Massachusett' Puritan leader John Cotton. In general, however, religinu freedom developed in Americ for m o r e practical reasons Maryland, for example, adopte a policy of toleration in 164 - out of sheer necessity: Lor Baltimore's Roman Cathol settlers had by that tim b e c o m e outnumbered b .. Protestants. There had bee some skirmishing but no ful scale religious warfare, and became clear the inhabitants of ie struggling little colony pre- erred peace to combat over the uestion of enforced religious rthodoxy. In similar fashion, eligiotis mullipliclly compelled doption of the same policy in thcr colonies. EVEN WHERE a single hurch was "established," as rith the Church ot England in ie Southern colonies and the 'uritan churches in New ingland, other sects were ermitted to worship openly, localise the English colonies in A m e r i c a were founded elativcty late, they largely scaped involvement in a European tradition of religious onfhct. For the most part, in act, America was originally ntendcd as a haven for eligious liberty and diversity. L major and much praised \merican value was let in, argely out of necessity, by the lack door. Real Utopias make itrange entrances. A n o t h e r important, a n d related, characteristic of the new societies made a similar intry. In advocating coloniza ion, Richard Hakluyt had appealed to a self-consciously nationalistic "English nation;' yet ironically, England sue ceeded in establishing colonies which, at least so far as the ethnic backgrounds of the settlers were concerned, turnec out to be very un-English. In the long run, of course English laws, government language, and customs pre vailed in the new land, partly because they arrived first 01 ;he scene and partly becaus. imperial governance and sacia [ocus remained for so long in London. Yet the fact remain lhat by the eve of the America Revolution, nearly a majorit of the people of the "English colonies were, by any contem porary definition, not Englis at all. SOME OF the near majorit were, to be sure, English speaking, but that they wer not truly English was equall clear to themselves and I truly E n g l i s h settlers. Ther were many Scots and perhap a similar number of Dutch, th t a t t e r in New York an New Jersey. William Penn grand experiment and stren uous efforts a t r e c r u i t i n settlers for his colony mad Pennsylvania one-third Germa (and, not accidentally, Protes ant). The Calvinist Scotch-Irisl esccndants of Scots who had Ionized in northern Ireland, id ancestors of a tradition of ligious conflict which remains ere to this day, also came great numbers to the colonies om Pennsylvania southwards. nd other groups came as well: rotestant French (Huguenots), nd in lesser numbers, Catholic ish, Jews, even Poles. Happily r the predominating sorts of nglish who came, they were early all Christian, heavily of ie low-church, modificd-Cal- inist sort. More than anything se, this fact brought a mea- ure of unity out of ethnic mul- plicity. America was to fulfill, ir a time, the expectation that ngland's offspring would be, ecessarily, Protestant. ON THIS COUNT, as on cveral others, the Africans rere a group a p a r t . Much ie next largest group to the English, they concentrated their ettlement, without any say in he matter, in the southern half f the English-controlled portion Colony will some time or other confirmed by the name of Guinea." Or, as Benjamin Franklin once described Pennsylvania, "New Germany." But while Franklin and others [retted about the ethnic composition of America, ethnic diversity seemed to be just happening. Sir Thomas More's Utopian society was developing its own peculiar directions in the New World. From Sir Humphrey Gilbert's vantage point on the stern-sheets of a fishing smack and from Richard Hakluyt's study chair, the new societies wuld not have been quite as they had envisioned. If we reflect on actual developments In the new colonies against the mirror of original intentions, we can now see a fairly consistent slanting in certain important directions. English society did not reproduce itself in America. Rather than representing a cross section of English or European society, he immigrants who came from England (and elsewhere from Europe) were heavily middle- class but with a large lower- class element.' SO IN A crucial sense, "Middle-America" began not in the Mississippi River heartland but on the Atlantic beachheads. The opportunities of the "empty" coastal territories, so gradually but brutally and effectively cleared of "savages," created in the eighteenth century a new aristocracy -- unelevated and most un-self- confident but very real nonetheless. The unavailability of land also resulted in a relatively small number of poor. The great bulk of colonists were, by European standards, middle- class. Always, of course, with the exception of the Africans, whose standing on the lowest rung of the social ladder g a v e the English Increased status, as African labor gave the English ncreased prosperity. Because they prided themselves on being a free people, the English settlers in America worked out political forms conducive to still greater political reedom that existed at home. Once again, though, we must distinguish between original intentions and eventual results. In successfully asking for the establishment of representative assemblies in each colony, the settlers were far from taking a radical step toward adoption of new political institutions. IF ANYTHING, the establishment of representative government in America was a conservative step. Elective assemblies were meant to conserve already existing English liberties and institutional practices. (It was no accident that New.York, the last colony to gain an assembly, was the one originally settled by another nation, the Dutch). The attempt to recreate in America what was valued in England resulted in the political forms which Americans came iventually so greatly to value. Mo one realized at the time, of course, that by establishing little parliaments in America, the settlers were erecting p o l i t i c a l institutions which eventually would challenge imperial authority a n d , in the process of a revolution, form the basis of a federated 'nation- state. · The actual practice of politics in the colonies was so ridden by factional bickering and so assiduously concerned with mundane tasks that no one thought the colonists were engaged in a Utopian project. Yet what emerged was, by the standards of history a n d ' the world, a Utopian dream. Popular self-government by means of representative, elective in- stitutions was then and li today a rarity. That it had-and still has serious flaws is obvious. BUT IT IS also clear that those who originally conceived of English settlement In America, had they lived to se« this outcome, would have approved. And, as freeborn Englishmen, they would trot have been exactly surprised. If they were dreamers, they were among those who seal their dreams by activity. Courses by Newspaper was developed by TJCSD Extension and funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a , supplementary grant from the EXXON Education Foundation. Next: Turning the Colonial Kaleidoscope, 1750-1775, by Michael Katnmen, professor of A m e r i c a n history, Cornell University. f the New World. They came, captives, In small umbers at first, their status not altogether clear. Within e y e r a 1 decades, however, luring the first half of the eventeenth century, It had ecome certain and apparent hat the Africans in these colonies would be accorded a status which conflicted sharply vith important English pretensions. One of the major tenets of English nride and indeed of English nationalism was that they were themselves the freest people In the world: freer, clearly, than the Turks and other "infidels;" and much 'reer, even, than the Spaniards and the French. It was perhaps this justifiable consciousness which helped e n a b l e English settlers to create a social condition for Africans that ran radically counter to English custom and law. Africans, who were by the : standards of Englishmen neither Christian, civilized, nor appropriate in appearance, came rapidly to be set apart for a special .kind of exploitation. AS AFRICANS came to the American colonies in increasing numbers, particularly after 1700 -- which was, roughly, when the other non-English came -Englishmen began rapidlv to realize that their New World lands would not automatically be English. Indeed, as one Virginian put it, "I fear this NEW SOCIETIES IN THE NEW WORLD are depicted in painting of William Penn's treaty with the Indians The READER and/or STUDY GUIDE for "In Search of THE AMERICAN DREAM" are available from your local bookseller or from Ihe publisher, NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, P.O. Box 999, Bergenfidd. NJ. 07621. Include the list price M.SO (Reader) and/or M.50 (Study Guide), p!u» 2SC per copy to cover handling and mailing costs, Please send check or money order-no currency or C.O.D.'s. Please allow th ree weeks for del iveiy. ~THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, INC. P 0 Box 999, Btrgenfield, Ntw Jertey 07621 Please .end m« copy/copie. of IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM: READER (A Meridian Book, F«l, S4.50 plus 258 postage and handling). Please «end me_ copy/copie» of IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM: STUDY GUIDE (A Meridian Book, F422,52.50 plus 251 postage and handling). I am enclosing · total of $ Name -- Addrew. Gty _SUt« Zip- Please allow three weeks for delivery. UA Gets Permit For Fungus Test ' Plant patholoigsts at t h e University of Arkansas Experiment Station recently received the first experimental use permit from the *.n' vironmental Portection Agency : for a fungus to be used in con- ·trolling northern jointvetch a weed that is a serious problem for Arkansas rice growers. · The temporary permit, the first of its kind to be released by the EPA for using a fungus as a biological control agent, will last for one year, according to Dr D. A. Slack, head of the U. of A. Plant Pathology interfere with the productivity Performance Bulls Sell Well At UA Cattle prices may be down, aut Arkansas cattlemen still managed to pay good prices for the 38 performance tested bulls sold this week by the University of Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station in its 24th annual sale. A total of $23,995 was obtained from the Angus and Hereford bulls. Angus bulls sold in the sale averaged 4900, the polled Hereford bulls averaged $1,139.29 and the horned Hereford bulls averaged §880. .A top price of §1,625 apiece was paid for both of the high selling Angus and Hereforc bulls. L. C. Sloan, Walnut Ridge, bought the top selling Angus and Modton and Co., Fayetteville, purchased the sale-topping Hereford. Wagon Wheel Ranch, Fort Smith, pak $1,550 for an Angus bull anc of a crop or other agricultural; A r e h b u r y Farms, Clinton product. bought $1,450. a Hereford bull for While biological control has p- g n d I Maintenance Co. been of prime interest to Inc., Beebe, bought 12 bulls, botl Dept. Scientists working on the project are Drs. George Templeton, plant pathologist, and Roy J. Smith Jr., USDA research agronomist at the Rice Branch Experiment Station, . Stuttgart, Biological control is the use of naturally-occuring organisms to deal with such pests as di- scientists for many years, in most cases the work has bogged down in the most critical area-in the field under natural working conditions. So, any bio- control project that can be used without any costly special handling is especially valued. This year the scientists found that the fungus could be manufactured capably under commercial conditions. It also will give better than 90 percent control of the weed when applied under commercial f a r - ming conditions. It is the intention of Templeton and Smith to seek a permit from the EPA so that the fungus can be used on a Hereford and Angus. Th Arkansas Dept. of Corrections Pine Bluff, purchased five bull; of both breeds. The bull sale is an annua event in October that feature bulls with several generation, of performance testing record behind them. This year, many of the bulls sold had establishei gain record of better than tlire pounds per day on less lha seven pounds of feed per poun of gain made each day. scases. insects and weeds that commercial basis. Fatally Injured HOPE, Ark. (AP) -- Slat Police said Ed Lee, 87, of New hope was killed Friday nigh when his car ran off Arkansa 29 about 10 miles south of her and hit a culvert. Number l in America! iiMl^sfeMiSfesHtS': ..-. we lead the nation in producing the largest number of chickens! stattdtw JUST LIKE THE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF SERVING N.W. ARKANSAS FOR OVER 100 YEARS Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Arkansas Best Corp. Arkansas Press Association · Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce · Arkansas industrial Development Commission President: FRANK ROBINS. Ill President: H. L. HEMBREE Chairman: CASS S. HOUGH

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 8,600+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free